Travel Buddy

How to Not Piss Off the People You Travel With

After listening to someone complaining about their travel buddy, I decided that instead of a story on another location, I write about how to be an agreeable travel buddy. Or perhaps I just want to rant about annoyance I have experienced traveling with people.

1. Know Yourself

Are you an early riser or a night owl? Do you seek adventure or prefer to lounge around? Are you a slob or a neat freak? Do you act spontaneously or plan every detail of your itinerary? Spending even only a few days with someone that is the polar opposite can drive you insane.

Do not just look at your general traits, examine your little nuisances as well. Do you snore or grind your teeth? Bring ear plugs, not for yourself but for those around you. They are dirt cheap if not complimentary with your flight or hotel and small enough to squeeze into any bag. Are you hopeless with directions? Determine who should lead and who should follow.

Looking for directions on a map.
In Taipei, I follow my father for an hour in the wrong direction before he realized it.

2. Always Be Ready.

Time is valuable especially when traveling because you have so little time and so much to see. There is nothing worse than waiting for someone. Your travel buddy might be too polite to tell you but if you constantly take longer to be ready then you are probably annoying them.

Here are a few suggestion: To starting your day quickly, decide your outfit and lay out everything you need the night before. To expedite through transit, pack lighter. If your companion finishes eating vastly quicker than you, wrap up your leftovers to go and order sometime smaller next time.

3. Be Decisive Yet Flexible.

“Where do you wanna eat?”
“I dunno, where do you wanna eat?”
“I dunno!”

Sounds familiar? Do not waste time debating what to do. When in doubt the pickier one should decide (again, know yourself). You can also alternate who decides or flip a coin, the important thing is to establish some system. Just be open minded in case your buddy decides to veto your first choice for some reason. When it comes to food, even if you made a poor decision, you can take comforting knowing you will have three times a day to make a good choice so just pick something already!

4. On The Road.

If you are not driving, be a good co-pilot. There are three important jobs: First, helping with navigation, or at least setting up the GPS if you are directionally-challenged. Secondly, be ready with the snacks and drinks. Lastly, conversate to keep the driver alert. Of course, that is unless you are napping in preparation so switch off to drive later, but try not to oversleep either.

If you are the driver, you are doing enough. Do not overextend yourself and just reap the benefits of having someone serve your every need.

5. Spend Time Apart

Just because you are traveling together does not mean you have to spend every waking minute with them (unless you are co-dependent) especially if you have opposite interests. You can explore different activities and you will probably still spend time together for dinner. This will also give you more to talk about. After all, what is the point of asking about your day if you spent every waking moment together.

One final point, try to be positive even if you are in a foul mood. This is their trip too and they should not have to put up you throwing a fit. If you cannot be positive, then perhaps this is a good time to be apart. Be communicative that the problem is not them, and take a moment alone to gather yourself. If the problem is your pal and this article is no help, then perhaps you need to stop traveling with this person altogether.

Comic about not being mad.

So was this helpful or just an angry rant? You tell me by commenting below.

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